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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ind. Gov't. - Still more on "Storm Water Board resigns: Council criticized no-bid contract"

Updating this ILB entry from Aug. 30th, Dick Kaukas of the Louisville Courier Journal writes today in a story that begins:

The New Albany City Council's court challenge to contracts awarded by the city's sewer and storm-water boards without competitive bids won't be considered until next year -- if at all.

Floyd Circuit Judge Terrence Cody decided yesterday to delay arguments because four new council members will be seated next month.

At the start of what had been scheduled as a hearing on motions to dismiss the lawsuit, Cody said it's possible that the new nine-member council could vote to drop the litigation.

Cody gave Jerry Ulrich, the lawyer who had filed the complaints, 40 days to submit written responses to the motions to dismiss. Those motions were made by Greg Fifer on behalf of the sewer board and by Mike Summers for the storm-water board.

By the time the 40-day period runs out, the new council will have met, giving members an opportunity to address the issue if they want to do so.

Earlier this year the sewer board voted 5-0 to renew its contract with Environmental Management Corp., which has been running the sewer system for $3.6 million a year. The new contract is for three more years at $3.3 million annually, starting next month.

The storm-water board later voted 2-1 to enter into an agreement with the company to run the storm-water system for $507,000 a year.

Both contracts were awarded without bids, with Fifer and Summers advising that the agreements were for the company to provide "professional services," so competitive bidding was not required.

The council subsequently voted 6-2 to file suit, asking Floyd Circuit Court to rule on the validity of the no-bid arrangements. Ulrich has contended that the contracts are for "public works" projects and must be bid under state law.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 4, 2007 12:03 PM
Posted to Indiana Government